What can one say about our experience with Maru?
by Susan Arneson
Maru Ladron de Guevara
Centering Prayer and Contemplation
Saturday April 29, 2017
Florida Institute of Technology,
Melbourne, Fl 32901
Humans are wired to contemplate profound questions, like “Who am I?” “Where am I from?” “Where am I going?” “Where was God before the Universe began?” When I entered the lovely, peaceful All Faiths Chapel at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne on April 29th, I wasn’t expecting to be brilliantly confronted with a new set of strikingly profound questions, but that is what happened.
Our presenter, Maru Ladrón De Guevara, along with our Servant Team, provided an all-encompassing opportunity that invited us to truly move into the experience of the highest human qualities such as Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control. This fruit grows from rootedness in our Divine Ground and moves us to freely offer it to others, trusting God’s Presence and action in each of us wherever we are right now. God loves us and desires to co-create the world with us.
Presenting bits of wisdom from Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, and others, Maru also shared her own wisdom. Guiding us from a place of inner awe, to open our hearts and reflect upon questions such as:
1) What would it take for me to believe that God is really in me, that I am invited to co-create with God and participate in the New Creation?
2) What if I could accept that my unique essence is essential to the fabric of life, just as everyone else’s uniqueness is essential? Just as animals in Nature listen for the calls of other species to get information they need for survival, do we not depend on others, and they on us, for survival?
3) What if sitting in silence, setting aside concerns and desires, actually allows us to transcend the world and be transformed, which is to say, to find the hidden wholeness that makes us One with Him in love?
I find that struggling with our false self presents us with perhaps our greatest challenge if we allow ourselves to be lead astray from authenticity and relationship with God. Many of us, as we shift our weight away from self-control/self-desire toward a desire to be nearer to God lose our balance and “fall into the infinite abyss of God.” We may recognize this as the Cloud of Unknowing or the Dark Night of the Soul, a very trying, frustrating, dark state. Yet, we are brought through by attending to the deepest cry of our inner being, the yearning for communion. And when we say “Yes” to communion, “Yes” to God’s offer for us to be One with him, we discover our deepest Joy. This is our dance with God, this saying “yes” when God invites us. Which raises for me another profound question:
4) When God gently bows, reaches out, and says “Will you dance with me?” what will my answer be?
Maru set before us the graced possibility of saying “Yes” to waking up to God in the world all around us; “Yes” to practicing reverence for nature and all of creation; “Yes” to opening to God’s heartbeat in others. As we consent daily to enter into inner silence and solitude, we allow the Spirit to free us from the tyrannies of our little self, and we find ourselves embraced and embracing the one and only holy dance.